The government announced that it would provide NIS 4.9 million for the development of tourism in eastern Gush Etzion and the northern Judean Desert. The project will see the establishment of hotels, desert guest house, hiking and biking paths, and other attractions. The total cost of the project will be NIS 7 million, with the government covering 70% of the total cost.
The rest will be picked up by the Megillot Regional Council and the Gush Etzion Regional Council. Shlomo Neeman, head of the latter, said that the project “is not only bringing us back to areas of the country which were abandoned in the wake of the Oslo Accords, but also returning us to the historic areas where prophets and kings of Israel imprinted their marks on this good desert. This project is unprecedented in its scope. I thank Tourism Minister Yariv Levin and his staff for this strategic connection between Gush Etzion and the Judean Desert.”
Levin said that “we see the development of tourism in Gush Etzion as a priority, along with tourism in Yehuda and Shomron. I am positive that this project will make tourism to the area more accessible and bring in visitors from all over the world.”